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  1. #1
    Elite Member dfkrug's Avatar
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    05 Kioti CK30HST w/ Prairie Dog backhoe

    Default Repairing a damaged and loose 420 loader on a JD 4300 tractor

    This thread will show the repair efforts I went through to fix a sloppy
    FEL on my 4300 ex-rental tractor. This is a chapter in my refurbishment
    project on this tractor:
    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/p...-4300-hst.html

    This loader is the smaller of 2 OEM units available from JD for the 4200/4300/4400
    tractors, as well as some of the 4x10 CUTs. The bigger one (430) has larger
    cylinders with larger rods, as well as "kidney links" on the bucket end of the
    boom. Those 2 improvements would reduce the chance of needing some of
    these repairs, IMO.

    The most obvious problem with my FEL was its looseness. I could shake the
    vertical masts left and right and get more than 1/2" of movement with
    the boom at rest. The JD quick-attach bucket brackets had been bent and
    repaired, probably from operating the boom without both brackets fully
    engaged on the bkt, or possibly when a pin fell out.

    Furthermore, the bucket itself was bent, some cylinders leaked, and one
    had a bent rod.

    The good news: the boom arms were not bent. I have seen bent booms before,
    caused by renters ramming the tractor into immovable objects. That's
    a difficult fix.

    When I got the FEL off, the first thing I noticed was how worn the subframes
    are. Even the locating key has a deep groove in it.
    -420fel_a-jpg-fel_4-jpg

    The mast itself is cast steel at its base (3rd photo), with 7 contact areas.
    -fel_5-jpg
    Each was significantly worn or mushroomed. 'A' indicates where the
    locating key goes, and it too had lost a lot of material. I filled it in with
    a weld; it was about 1/4" deep.
    See my TBN projects at:
    http://mysite.verizon.net/resyfcgt/

  2. #2
    Super Member Iplayfarmer's Avatar
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    Idaho
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    Massey Ferguson 1215, Toro 266-H, Pennsylvania Panzer, Case 444, Craftsman 14/6

    Default Re: Repairing a damaged and loose 420 loader on a JD 4300 tractor

    I'm looking forward to seeing the progress on this repair. It looks like you have your work cut out for you.
    From now on I will only buy cars that are a silver/grey color. Then I can make all body repairs with Duct Tape.

  3. #3
    Elite Member dfkrug's Avatar
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    05 Kioti CK30HST w/ Prairie Dog backhoe

    Default Re: Repairing a damaged and loose 420 loader on a JD 4300 tractor

    Those who looked at my FEL repairs for the last 4300 saw that I just
    filled in the wear depressions on the 2 subframes, ground them down,
    and I was gold:
    -wear-jpg-weld-jpg

    Most of the wear on that FEL was where the longest of the 7 contact areas
    was. After I ground the welds down to be planar, I mounted the loader
    and it was nice and tight. Boy, was I fortunate on that one.

    So, I did that for this one, laying beads on nearly all the depressions. I ground
    them down and mounted the loader. Not even close. I needed to do lots
    more welding and grinding, fitting, and mounting/dismounting.

    So, I removed the subframes and did all the adjustments and test fittings on
    the unmounted loader. I probably did 12-20 weld/grind/mount/dismount
    iterations per side. Fortunately, doing this on an unmounted loader was
    not too hard.

    In these photos, you can kind of see the added metal between the contact points.
    -fel_6-jpg-fel_6a-jpg-fel_7-jpg

    I know that JD offers weld-on shims to do this kind of fix, but this loader
    required more steel under some contact areas, versus others.

    I am quite happy with how it came out. After mounting the subframes back
    on the tractor and installing the FEL, the masts can not be wiggled at all.
    If your masts wiggle, I would say fix the problem now, before it becomes a
    Big Problem.
    See my TBN projects at:
    http://mysite.verizon.net/resyfcgt/

  4. #4
    Elite Member dfkrug's Avatar
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    05 Kioti CK30HST w/ Prairie Dog backhoe

    Default Re: Repairing a damaged and loose 420 loader on a JD 4300 tractor

    The next thing I did was to remove all four cylinders and empty out the
    old hydraulic fluid. I needed to spend some time with some large wrenches,
    straightening out the bent hardlines on the boom, as well as scraping out
    pounds of old dirty grease.

    One of the bucket cylinder rods was slightly bent, so I took apart the
    cylinder and straightened it in my press. I can see that both of the bkt
    cylinders have had replaced rods at least once already. I recognise the
    handiwork of the local hydraulics specialist. I can also see that piston
    seals on 2 cyls have been replaced (they don't look like JD OEM).

    I fully rebuilt one of the boom cyls; it had a broken gland retaining
    wire, which I repaired like on the last 4300. JD rebuild kits for the cyls are
    about $25, which is way lower than some other JD kits.

    All four of these cyls have 25mm rods, which are very susceptible to
    bending. The 430 loader uses bigger rods, which is much superior.

    I have no new pix of this process; here is one from the last 4300:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -fel_piston_3-jpg  
    See my TBN projects at:
    http://mysite.verizon.net/resyfcgt/

  5. #5
    Elite Member dfkrug's Avatar
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    05 Kioti CK30HST w/ Prairie Dog backhoe

    Default Re: Repairing a damaged and loose 420 loader on a JD 4300 tractor

    Now, I set my attention on the bucket. It was a bit bent, at the upper lip,
    and the lower mid-carcass area.

    I used my trusty 20T air-over-hydraulic jack, and careful placement of
    various and sundry chunks of steel (1-in plate and 4x4 tubing, mostly).

    The upper lip came out well, and the lower part is better, but not perfect.
    Hard to see in the photo (3rd one). The cutting edge is very straight.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -fel_9-jpg   -fel_10-jpg   -fel_11-jpg   -fel_12-jpg  
    See my TBN projects at:
    http://mysite.verizon.net/resyfcgt/

  6. #6
    Elite Member dfkrug's Avatar
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    05 Kioti CK30HST w/ Prairie Dog backhoe

    Default Re: Repairing a damaged and loose 420 loader on a JD 4300 tractor

    Next, I had a sorry pair of QA bucket brackets to repair. They were
    both twisted and bent (probably from a pin coming out), and one
    of the pin holes on each was very sloppy. You can see how the pin
    fits into the hole in the second photo. Poorly.
    -fel_14-jpg-fel_15-jpg

    You can't tell from the photos, but the sides of both brackets have
    spread out by about 1/4".

    First thing I did was to take some very large adjustable wrenches
    and untwist the sides of the brackets. They are only 1/4" thick, so
    it was not hard.

    My repair of the sloppy hole was different this time. Last time, I
    welded in additional material to make the holes smaller, with a
    carbide cutter for adjustment. This time, I decided to weld in a 5/8"
    piece of DOM tubing so I would have a bushing on BOTH sides of
    the bracket. (I don't understand why JD neglected to use bushings
    here, since they did so for the rest of the loader pins.)

    I used a template and my plasma cutter to make the hole bigger,
    then I welded in the bushing. It worked out well, and it was easier
    and better than the way I did it on the earlier FEL.
    -fel_16-jpg-fel_17-jpg

    Finally, I welded in a brace to keep the brackets from spreading. If
    anyone else attempts this, make sure you are clear of the cross-tube
    zerk fittings, over the full range of travel.
    -fel_18-jpg
    See my TBN projects at:
    http://mysite.verizon.net/resyfcgt/

  7. #7
    Elite Member dfkrug's Avatar
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    05 Kioti CK30HST w/ Prairie Dog backhoe

    Default Re: Repairing a damaged and loose 420 loader on a JD 4300 tractor

    Final notes on the FEL repairs:

    There are four bolts on the forward section of the loader frame that
    allow some adjustment. In the photo, I have removed one of them.
    Mine were all somewhat corroded. There was not nearly enough
    adjustment to take up any noticable amount of sloppiness in my
    loader. But if your FEL is only off by a bit, try these first.
    -fel_19-jpg

    One TBN guy I know of completely swapped out the problematic JD
    cylinders for stronger units with thicker rods. He has also added
    bushings to his loader QA brackets as I showed here. Check out his
    YouTube videos:
    Upgrading John Deere (FEL) Loader Cylinders Part 1 - YouTube

    Sadly, his tractor was stolen last year (MARS1952).
    See my TBN projects at:
    http://mysite.verizon.net/resyfcgt/

  8. #8
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
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    Bethel, Vermont
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    John Deere 4400 MFWD, Deere 855D UTV and assorted implements

    Default Re: Repairing a damaged and loose 420 loader on a JD 4300 tractor

    Great posts, DF!!!!
    Roy Jackson

    "Any government that does not trust its citizens with firearms is either a tyranny, or planning to become one."
    -Joseph P. Martino

  9. #9
    Silver Member
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    Marysville, OH
    Tractor
    JD 4300

    Default Re: Repairing a damaged and loose 420 loader on a JD 4300 tractor

    Quote Originally Posted by dfkrug View Post
    I know that JD offers weld-on shims to do this kind of fix, but this loader
    required more steel under some contact areas, versus others.

    I am quite happy with how it came out. After mounting the subframes back
    on the tractor and installing the FEL, the masts can not be wiggled at all.
    If your masts wiggle, I would say fix the problem now, before it becomes a
    Big Problem.
    My 4300 with 430 loader is quite loose. I'm not seeing the wear you are, but there is a large gap on the mast mounts. How tight should that be? JD offers shims for that? Do you have any info on the shims?

    My loader will move side to side with a load on it as I do over bumps, so I'm Thinking I should fix it.

    Thanks,

  10. #10
    Elite Member dfkrug's Avatar
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    05 Kioti CK30HST w/ Prairie Dog backhoe

    Default Re: Repairing a damaged and loose 420 loader on a JD 4300 tractor

    Quote Originally Posted by BRBurns View Post
    My 4300 with 430 loader is quite loose. I'm not seeing the
    wear you are, but there is a large gap on the mast mounts. How tight should that be?
    JD offers shims for that? Do you have any info on the shims?

    My loader will move side to side with a load on it as I do over bumps, so I'm Thinking
    I should fix it.
    You want it to be tight enough that you can not see/feel any wiggle, fore and aft or
    left/right. The longer you wait to fix it, the more fixing it will need.

    As for the shim kit from Deere, CHUCK4310 bought and installed one here:
    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/j...-shim-fix.html

    Discussion of my last 420 loader fix starts at post #227 of my last 4300 thread:
    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/p...rebuild-6.html
    As I mentioned, that fix was MUCH easier.

    If shims will work, I don't see why you need to buy them from JD.

    Since you and Roy are both fortunate enough to have the 430 FEL, does it also not
    have bushings on one side of the bkt QA brackets?
    See my TBN projects at:
    http://mysite.verizon.net/resyfcgt/

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